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Mistletoe is a pretty parasite and useful for holiday decoration - but it's a parasite and it's a growth that is a dead giveaway that your tree is in stress.

Mistletoe in hackberry.
There are no organic or chemical sprays that work to kill and control mistletoe without hurting the tree. On the other hand, it can be controlled. Mistletoe infests trees that are weak. Weakness in trees results from several factors. Some varieties like hackberries have built-in weakness and almost always have mistletoe. Other trees such as elms and oaks develop mistletoe infestation and other parasites because of stress caused by improper planting, too much or too little water, too much or the wrong kind of fertilizer, soil compaction and the use of toxic chemical pesticides. 

Here's the control plan that works. Prune all the mistletoe out of the tree. It can be put in the compost or chopped up and sprinkled on fire ant mounds. Remove infested limbs completely if it can be done without ruining the shape of the tree. Notch into large limbs that can't be removed. I used to say that this is the only place I recommend the use of pruning paint. That was a dumb recommendation. Pruning paint and toxic wound dressings should never be used. At the most, slather a little Tree Trunk Goop on the wound. Next apply the Sick Tree Treatment procedure, with the first step (and most important one) being the exposure of the trunk/root flare. All soil and mulch should be removed from the flare. 

Mistletoe in weak cedar elm.
It has been reported to us that the mere application of dry molasses will cause the mistletoe to fade out, but the entire procedure is the better way to go, plus it will help with issues other than parasites.
The long term solution? The Sick Tree Treatment. The details keep being amended and improved.

Here is the latest version - Sick Tree Treatment.

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